DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH IT COSTS YOU TO TREAT COVID WITH ACCESS TO LORDS FEET AT THE END? Sixteen lakhs! [ Eight lakhs sixty thousand for medicines and consumables while another 2.8 lakhs namakaranamed as Covid charges.] According to TOI report of date a Santa cruz resident lost his 74 year old father to Covid 19 related complications and he was also ready to join his father when he got a bill for Rs16 lakhs.His father was in ICU for 15 days in a city hospital in Mumbai.Such a hefty bill will paralyse any middle class family.Adding insult to injury the man was not even given an inkling of the jumbo bill making him scurry for mobilising the funds. The Director of the corporate hospital in Mumbai says”The patient was brought to us in a critical condition with multiple co morbidities and multi organ failure.Despite best measures he passed away”.In utter disregard to the spate of complaints and capping of charges by the Government, hospitals find a way to circumvent the regulations. I will give you a practical example.For intestinal bleeding,a non corporate hospital in Bombay charged me Rs 94000.For the same thing a corporate hospital in Bangalore charged me Rs 1,31000.For the third time a mission hospital in Bombay charged me Rs 63000.The same doctor did the procedure on both the occasions in Bombay.It is the Doctor who matters apart from Hygiene and not the suit boot receptionist who opens the car door for you. I analysed the bills carefully and found that Doctor charges were more or less the same.Where they make money is in consumables,charges for procedures,icu charges etc.The first question they ask you is the amount of insurance cover.Second-pleading non availability of normal private room they will push you into an expensive room which automatically results in higher charges for everything.They will make it a point to keep you in ICU till monday And keep you for observation till Friday-This improves the occupancy.We say Sabash and shower petals on the hospitals.MRI,CT SCAN and Angiogram are money spinners and it requires extraordinary communication skills on your part to escape the trap.